Ann Dolin: Hi! I am Ann Dolin and today we are talking about how to make homework time a lot less stressful between you and your child. Right now, let's discuss when it's important to get outside help.
It's important to keep the lines of communication between you and the teacher open all year around. Many parents ask when they should talk to the teachers about their struggles with homework. My answer is to keep a log. If you see that homework is taking much longer than it should. Say for example, the average amount of homework your child should have is 1 hour and it's taking 2.
5 hours and this is happening on a regular basis, keep a log for at least a week and then go to the teacher or contact her usually through e-mail and let her know that you are experiencing a lot of difficulty at home.
Teachers often have no idea what's going on, specially, when the child turns in terrific look the following day. They are not aware of what can be happening at home. Also, many teachers have pointers that they can give you to help ease the process. Probably things that you haven't thought about, but they can make your time with your child a whole lot less stressful. It's important to seek outside help, when you see your child is struggling with homework. Often times, parents will contact a tutor or an educational coach for two reasons. One is content help, sometimes the child will be experiencing difficulty with the subject material itself. Let's say, VIII grade math and its out of the parents scope or even elementary reading, the child is having a hard time acquiring necessary reading skills to be a proficient reader.
Also, in areas like organization, time management and study skills are incredibly important to the development of a child, not just at the elementary and middle school level, but also at their high school and college. Kids will often fight with their parents over these issues, but they will be a lot more receptive to an objective person coming in, teaching them how to maintain a binder, how to plan for long term assignments, how to study for tests. So often, advise given by parents isnt taken well by kids, but when a tutor comes in and reflex with the child on how best to study, it's a lot more meaningful and the child is much more willing to follow through. There is a great quote out there, Don't sacrifice your parent-child relationship on the altar of academic success. I couldn't agree more. Remember parents, you are not a child's teacher or the tutor, you are the parent and your relationship comes first. So when you see that it's suffering just because of homework, then you know it's time to look for outsider intervention.
I truly hope that the tips I have given you today will make homework a much more positive experience for your child. Good luck and remember, the key is to foster responsibility, independence and to make learning fun.